New company takes the stage with kids' classic

Carol Scott, left, and Pat Josten stand on the stage of the  Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Wednesday afternoon. The women founded Wild Horse  Productions in partnership with the museum to bring more  children's theater to the area. Auditions for their first  production will be held Jan. 13.    Chad Lundquist/ Nevada Appeal

Carol Scott, left, and Pat Josten stand on the stage of the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Wednesday afternoon. The women founded Wild Horse Productions in partnership with the museum to bring more children's theater to the area. Auditions for their first production will be held Jan. 13. Chad Lundquist/ Nevada Appeal

Wade through the business plans, incorporation paperwork, scripts, lighting requirements, timing notes, budgets and deadlines and Pat Josten's goal is simple: Happy kids.

Josten, along with Carol Scott, is hoping Wild Horse Productions, the pair's latest venture, will serve as the catalyst to achieving that goal.

The company, in partnership with the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, has formed the Wild Horse Children's Theater and will be holding auditions for their first production Jan. 13.

Scott, who will serve as the artistic director, has founded two other children's theater companies: the BAC Stage Kids at the Brewery Arts Center and the Little Tomato Children's Theatre in Ontario, Canada.

Josten took over BAC Stage Kids when Scott moved to Canada. She chose to end her tenure with the Brewery Arts Center to begin the new production company.

"I knew this community could sustain another children's theater group," Scott said. "We have kids who come down from Reno to participate in Children's Theater because there isn't anything like it up there."

The largest problem the women faced was finding a permanent venue for storage and rehearsals and performances. At the same time, Children's Museum of Northern Nevada Director Art Krupicz was looking for a use for his performance space.

"I'm pretty new to the community, and essentially we've always been good with exhibits, but we wanted to utilize our space better. Literally, I was learning about incorporating kids' theater into children's museums when (Scott) called," Krupicz said.

For their first production, the duo has chosen "Charlotte's Web," which was also the first production when they founded the BAC Stage Kids.

The play was chosen because it's recognizable, and because it allows casting for all age ranges.

"Theater is such a self-esteem builder. The kids become a family and a support system for each other," Josten said.

The duo will hold a pre-audition workshop Saturday to prepare children on the basics of auditioning for any production. Actual auditions will be held Jan. 13, with all children who audition being cast.

The children's theater is the first step in a larger plan which could include an adult theater company and performing arts complex.

"We want to think big and look at the future. We'd like to create a full performing arts complex to offer classes in dance, voice and choreography," Scott said.

That's down the road. For the time being, the focus remains on one objective.

"This space can help kids find their creative passion," Krupicz said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

If you go

What: Free children's audition workshop by the Wild Horse

Children's Theatre

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Children's Museum of Northern Nevada, 813 N. Carson St.

Who: Ages 5-9 from 1-2 p.m.; ages 10 and up from 2-3 p.m.

CALL: 887-0438

On the Net

Children's Museum of Northern

Nevada: www.cmnn.org

Coming up

What: Auditions for "Charlotte's Web," the theater's premiere production, will be 10 a.m. Jan. 13 at the museum.

Who: Ages 5-15 should come prepared with a poem or nursery rhyme of one minute or less. There will also be cold readings from the script.

When: Show dates are March 9-18 at the museum.

CALL: 887-0438.

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